History of Leopard 2s in Turkish Armed Forces dates back to 2000s, to Tank 2000 Tender. Turkish Armed Forces open a tender for 250 modern tanks for Turkish Land Forces Command. Scope of this tender was to increase armored capabilities TLFC, acquire further know-how and update the existing infrastructure for building and maintaining modern armor. Four, later five, contenders from four countries were announced. Those tanks were: M1A2SEP, later M1A2, USA – Leopard 2A6EX, Germany – Leclerc, France – T-84-120 “Yatağan”, Ukraine. After extensive test in Turkey, Leopard 2A6EX was completed all tests with outstanding performance and announced as winner of Tank 2000 Tender. Turkish and German sides failed to agree in matter of technology transfer and local production, which sealed the fate of Tank 2000 Tender.
Fast forward to 2005, Turkey showed interest to buy secondhand Leopard 2A4s from German Army surplus. 365 Million Euro worth deal for 298 Leopard 2A4 was made and tanks were delivered between 2006 - 2010. Later additional 56 Leopard 2A4 was bought in 2009, delivered between 2010 – 2014. Since then, Leopard 2A4 is one of the most important assets of Turkish Armed Forces.
After many failed attempt, Defence Industry Agency submitted an urgent need for Leopard 2A4 modernization. This call answered by ROKETSAN with its brand-new hybrid armor package, T1. This urgent modernization only included armor package and nothing else to quickly fulfill the need for modern tank alongside M60TM. T1 Armor Package offers great protection against both KE and CE in modular form. Armor is also quite light weight, it adds no more than 6.4 tons to overall weight of the Leopard.
Since this program’s main aim was to supplement armor package to increase protection of existing Leopard 2A4s, there was no attempt to enhance the firepower. Leopard 2A4T1 boasts Rheinmetall Rh-120 120mm L/44 tank cannon as main armament and supplemented with 7.62mm co-axial machine-gun
Mobility of Leopard 2A4T1 is affected only slightly thanks to armor package’s low weight. Leopard 2A4T1 weighs 61.33 tonnes, only 6.3 tonnes heavier than original Leopard 2A4. Leopard 2A4T1 retains original EuroPowerPack which consists of MTU MB 873 Ka-501 diesel engine coupled with RENK HSWL 354 transmission system. With the additional weight of the armor, Leopard 2A4T1 weighs 61.33 tonnes with a top speed of 70 km/h. With the additional weight of the armor new power-to-weight ratio is now 24.4 hp/t, which 3 hp/t slower than.
Leopard 2A4T1’s protection is enhanced with ROKETSAN T1 Armor Package. T1 was developed specifically for Leopard 2A4 tanks with the experiences gained from Operation Euphrates Shield (Fırat Kalkanı Harekatı) and it is completely unique and indigenous system. Within as little as 6 months, ROKETSAN developed and completed ballistic tests of T1. Currently 40 Leopard 2A4T1 under Turkish Armed Forces service, it will be used on TİYK project too.
T1 is a Hybrid solution, frontal of Leopard is fitted with Passive Armor elements, increasing protection of frontal arc greatly against both KE and CE threats. Turret side are also fitted with Passive Armor Blocks, to further increase protection. Hull sides are fitted with Reactive Armor, increasing protection against KE and especially CE threats. Protection values of Passive/Composite Armor is currently unknown, but Reactive Armor proved itself to be resistants against even Tandem Warheads.
Performance of ROKETSAN’s Explosive Reactive Armor is top of its class. Test showed that ROKETSAN ERA has invulnerable most of the contemporary CE threats including RPGs, ATGMs and HEAT Rounds. ERA stopped PG-7VR, which is a tandem RPG with 600mm behind-the-ERA penetration, with minimal residual penetration, and completely stopped 125mm HEAT round. Alongside image proofs, production catalogue states that ERA protect against PG-7VR, KORNET, TOW-2A, Konkurs and other tandem-warhead ATGMs. It is also stated that, ROKETSAN ERA provides enhanced protection against APFSDS rounds too, but protection values are unknown.
- Crew: 4
Dimensions and Weight
- Mass: +55 Tons ˀ
- Length: 8.1 m
- Width: 4.3 m
- Height: 2.8 m
- Main Armament: Rheinmetall Rh-120 120mm L/44 Smoothbore Cannon
- Secondary Armament:
• MG3 7.62mm Co-Axial Machine Gun
• FN MAG 7.62mm Co-Axial Machine Gun
- Ammunition Capacity
∙ 42 Tank Rounds
∙ 4600 7.62mm Co-Axial Machine Gun
- Engine: MTU MB 873 Ka-501 Diesel Engine, 1500 Horsepower
- Transmission: RENK HSWL 354 Automatic Transmission, 4 Forward, 2 Reverse
- Suspension: Torsion Bar
- Maximum Speed: 70 km/h
- Power to Weight: 24.4 hp/t
ROKETSAN T1 Armor Package
∙ Reactive Armor
∙ Passive Armor
∙ Slat/Cage Armor
- Active/Passive Protection System: None
- Smoke Grenades: 16x
- Night Sight
- Thermal Sight
- Laser Range Finder
- Night Sight
Implementation to War Thunder
Leopard 2A4T1 should be reserved for future Turkish Tech Tree, It would be natural successors to Leopard 2A4 considering it is inservice vehicle. Gameplay wise it would play similar to Leopard 2A5, with similar protection values and firepower. BR-Wise it would fit between 11.3 - 11.7.
Leopard 2A4T1 Tests